Report by Amanda Bennett, project manager & board member
In 2015, Reeds of Hope began to partner with Family Bethlehem in Bukavu, a group foster home run by Mama Sifa and Papa Jerome. Mama Sifa has been taking in vulnerable children as long as she’s been able. In addition to sponsoring children for school fees, Reeds of Hope partnered with Family Bethlehem in order to help reintegrate children into families.
For the 2016 school year, Reeds of Hope – with your incredible support - sponsored 90 kids in nursery, primary, and secondary school! Praise God that these children are being educated. Education leads to empowerment and opportunities for children growing up in such hard places. We would like to keep sponsoring these children in 2017. The cost for tuition and supplies has increased so we will need to add sponsors to keep up this rate. We are trusting that God will continue to provide for all our needs.
At the beginning of 2016, we were able to sponsor a group young adults from Family Bethlehem to attend university. They dream of careers that will transform their community and are nothing short of inspirational! Samuel is studying agronomy, hoping to teach farmers to grow enough food that no mouth will go hungry. Mungu is learning about waste management and environmental protection. He wants to help combat issues like deforestation, climate change, and poaching. Musole is at a trade school working on auto maintenance and heavy machinery operation. Citera plans to become a journalist, though he wants to teach too. His university guarantees him a job teaching upon graduation. Jean Luis is on his way to becoming a civil engineer. Samuel wants to become an ophthalmologist so he can help the young orphaned children who God loves. Mirindi shares, " I will become a lawyer to combat impunity and discrimination of orphaned, destitute, and neglected people in society." Mois is studying accounting and wants to help those who have nothing.
This year, we have started a mentoring component of our work with the adolescents and young adults at Family Bethlehem. Our staff has been meeting with the young men and women separately each month to educate and counsel them on risk areas and encourage them to make healthy choices that will support their growth and development. The youth are also given the opportunity to discuss areas of concern and ask questions in a safe environment.
We also led a three-day retreat with a group of adolescents and young adults in July. The group discussed the role of relationships and how to love each other well as well as the importance of prayer. It was a great time of community and sharing among the children!